A bigger, better, and longer-lasting version of Zane’s Cycles’ annual Big Wheel Sale is underway, and the Branford store’s expansive line of electric bicycles is being showcased this weekend, with test rides offered Saturday and Sunday. “This is a great opportunity to find out what the e-bike craze is all about,” says Chris Zane, founder and owner of the “world famous” store.
For more than three decades, Zane’s has celebrated the end of Winter and the start of another cycling season with this rite of Spring—although there’s a new wrinkle this year. Instead of running over just a single weekend as in the past, the Bigger Wheel Sale will be in effect every day throughout the month of April. In addition to still offering up to 50% discounts on its gigantic inventory of road, mountain, commuter, hybrid, and kids bikes, as well as parts and accessories, apparel, and other gear, Zane’s will host special events each of the four weekends, beginning with the e-bike extravaganza.
The Sale has become a highly anticipated tradition among the Shoreline’s cycling community. Beyond coming to save big bucks, riders of every type hobnob with fellow cyclists, pick up tips on riding and maintenance, ogle the newest bike models, and meet representatives from major companies, including Trek, Specialized, Raleigh, and Pinarello. “We’re really excited about extending the sale for the entire month,” says Tom Girard, director of retail operations. “People are busy this time of year, and now they’ll have plenty of chances to take advantage of the Sale and different events.”
E-bikes are increasing popular across the country, and motor and battery technologies have greatly improved since earlier models were introduced back in the 1990s. An e-bike looks like a conventional two-wheeler—with pedals, chain, and gears—but a compact electric motors kicks in as you pedal harder, zipping you along with incredible ease. “That’s especially welcome when commuting to work or school without having to sweat, or climbing some of our area’s challenging hills,” Girard says. “These are sophisticated, high-quality bikes, some that are capable of reaching 30 miles per hour in electric mode.”
Zane’s carries a wide variety of e-bikes—for men and women—made by Raleigh, Stromer, and iZip. There are models for commuters, trail and mountain enthusiasts, and leisure and sport riders. “We suggest that you test ride several different ones to find the e-bike that best fits you,” Zane says, adding that they’re available for test rides all year long, not only during the Sale.
Next Sunday, April 10, while the Sale continues, Zane’s will host a mountain bike group ride around the nearby Branford Supply Ponds. A week later, Sunday April 17, there will be a 20-mile group ride for road cyclists. The last Sunday of the month, April 24, everyone’s invited to enjoy a leisurely, hour-long recreational group ride. All three rides begin at Zane’s at 10 a.m., and riders should bring their own bikes, helmets, and other appropriate gear.
Zane’s is located at 330 Main Street in Branford. For more details about the Bigger Wheel Sale or directions to the store, call 203-488-3244 or visit their website, zanes.com.